An Interview with Tom Wallisch and Tim McChesney about their most recent "Good Company" backcountry movie "Cruise Control".
AD: Damn, first of all that movie was dope! I think its safe to say You are back Wallisch. How did the decision that “Cruise Control” would be just a two person movie between you and Tim
TW: It sort of just happened. I was planning on filming with Aj for a short film all year, figured it would just feature friends, but Tim and I ended up shredding together a ton and it became a two man show.
TM: Going into this past season I really had no idea what I was doing or filming for. I kinda thought Wallisch was going to do another solo part and If I got some shots I would have some good instagram content or something. We really didn't have a ton of days filming for this but I remember like mid way through the year AJ was like you have a good bit of shots, lets do another trip and shoot some more around home and it will definitely be a couple minutes worth of stuff. All in all, we got some really good days with snow conditions and just tried to make the most of the limited film days. Pretty stoked how it came together in the end.
AD: What was the season like bouncing back from the knee injury to spending the winter in the backcountry like this?
TW: I started the season off slowly since I was returning from the ACL injury. We spent a good bit of December and January just skiing pow at all the Utah resorts. It was an amazing winter in Utah and I really wanted to just ski more pow and enjoy skiing again after 8 months off. After warming up for a few months we began filming BC jumps in February. The good snow year in Utah and the motivation from Tim and other friends just made it a perfect year to film basically all pow
AD: Tim, you dropped some serious bombs too, what was the mentality coming into this season?
TM: I really just wanted to hit lots of backcountry jumps. The past couple seasons I've pretty much devoted my entire winters to skiing pow and sometimes its hard when the snow is good to stop skiing and shovel up a kicker for 4 hours but it's usually pretty worth it. Tom was definitely on that same tip too so it worked out really well. I had made up a bit of a trick list made up on my phone from last fall so I had some ideas of tricks that I've always wanted to do in the BC.
AD: I was stoked to see both you guys just dropping some serious landings in this one. Reminds me a bit of the old days of some seriously stomped landings. Was it the snow that was just that stompy or you guys just came with that crazy mentality again?
TW: We just built a lot of jumps, and with each jump we dialed in our landings and builds. We got better throughout the year at jump selection, building jumps and just stomping in pow. So fun to land in super soft snow for a change both skied so much park throughout our ski careers. When you feel pretty comfortable with a wide variety of tricks, it is a lot easier to choose the right one for each jump and hopefully get a shot. We definitely had some good snow too though which always helps with landings.
TM: It was cool to see Tom spend this much time in the BC this past winter. He landed switch so many god damn times we were making jokes that his whole segment wasn't going to have a single forward landing.
AD: Tom, how the fuck did you land that sw dub 10 so bolts?
TW: This I have no idea about haha. I dropped in from lower than I did before on the switch dub 9, but for some reason just went sooo massive. I knew I was going huge and had to open up a good bit on the second rotation. I just think the landing on that jump is steep and perfect. It all happened so fast, I was really surprised when I rode away myself. Definitely the best BC shot I’ve ever gotten.
AD: Whats the most memorable day you guys had out there, because it looks like there was quite a few memorable sessions coming out of the season.
TW: Two days for me at least. The jump in Tahoe that LJ does a triple backflip on was so much fun to session. All of us got shots, it was sunny and beautiful. We drank beers and snowmobiled around after. Perfect day. And then also the closing shots jump in the Uintas. So many crazy tricks and we were window shopping all day to get light to shoot. Was just a crazy experience
TM: The mirror lake jump session was pretty wild. It was late in the spring and we got like a foot of snow up at the top of the Uintas. The day we hit it was still cloudy with a couple small breaks for sun. We would be sitting at the top of the inrun for like an hour waiting for a window. Probably the most frustrating feeling when you're trying to have a session on a jump like this. I've hit that jump two or three times before and always tried to get a switch 10 blunt on it but never got it. I landed one second hit and AJ was filming with the drone as well as running his normal cam and ended up missing the shot. I went right back up and luckily got it better than the first one so it worked out good. Then I remember the clouds came back and we sat around for like two hours trying to decide if it was worth waiting it out longer. Luckily we both got a couple more windows and tom got the most insane switch dub 10 I have ever seen and I got a switch dub 12.
AD: Whats your boys touring set up. Or are you just on that Brap Brap program only?
We did a good bit of sledding so mostly sled and boot packing. But also some touring here and there for fun.
TW: We did a good bit of sledding so mostly sled and boot packing. But also some touring here and there for fun.
TM: I use the Cast touring setup. Perfect for the kind of skiing I like to do. But yeah mostly just on the sled program as you can see from the video hah.
AD: What did a typical day in the backcountry look like for y’all??
TM: We both had some other stuff going on throughout the winter so basically we just tried to find time to get out and film while we weren't busy. Lots of looking at the computer trying to figure out where It was going to snow and if it was going to stay good for a couple days or not. Then lots of early mornings and continental breakfasts at hotels while It's still dark out. Go fill up the sleds with gas and hit the trailhead to figure out what to do for the day. Hopefully find a couple things to get after for the day, build up a jump . and get some shots before dark. After that head back to town and enjoy a nice pasta dinner at the Olive Garden, cant beat the unlimited breadsticks and salad.
AD: So after putting together this movie that is completely different than past Good Company Projects, what can we look forward to for next year?
TM: I have no idea, going to have to ask the boss about that one. Hopefully do something similar and find some big crazy jumps to build!
TW: Hopefully just more cool shit. I love having our own film company so we can switch it up year to year. We’ve done short films, feature length, trip based tv shows, and now an all BC film. We’re working on lots of different plans for future projects. Hopefully more pow skiing, fun trips, and skiing with good friends. Thats what its all about right!?